Burn ban begins Thursday in Washington County

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POLK COUNTY, OR (KPTV) – Polk County Fire Defense Board issued a burn ban for the county starting Thursday, June 24.

Due to the Oregon Department of Forestry’s declaration of fire season combined with drought conditions and high temperatures, all backyard and agricultural burning will be banned starting on Thursday at 1:00 a.m. The ban is expected to last until “significant rains return in the fall.”

Residents are also warned to check any recently lit piles to avoid the potential of a rekindle. The burn ban includes yard debris and agricultural burning. Agricultural burning is the burning of agricultural waste generated by an operation that uses or intends to use land primarily to profit by raising, harvesting, and selling crops.

Check with your local Fire Department/District for more information. For the most current information, please call the Polk County Burn Information Line at (503) 838-2020.

The restrictions include:

  • Backyard burning (yard debris, etc.)
  • Agricultural burning
  • Land clearing, slash or debris burning

Federal agencies have independent jurisdiction and authority to regulate recreational fires on their lands so this ban does not apply to the US Forest Service and BLM regulated lands. Adhering to these precautions is still wise even though not enforceable.

Individuals found to be in violation of these requirements during the burn ban may be held liable for the cost of putting out a fire and for any property damage resulting from an illegal fire.

Those living in rural areas are asked to maintain their defensible space by monitoring growth surrounding homes and structures, and to maintain adequate access for firefighting equipment,

  • Know fire risks and obey fire restrictions, such as campfire bans.
  • Avoid parking or driving on dry grass as hot vehicles can start a wildfire.
  • Vehicles are required to have a shovel and fire extinguisher or at least a gallon of water in many areas.
  • Do not use candles, fireworks, tiki torches, or other open flames in wildland areas.
  • Remember that sky lanterns are illegal in Oregon airspace.
  • Dispose of smoking material in deep, sturdy ashtrays.
  • Make sure butts and ashes are extinguished with water.
  • Never discard butts on the ground or in vegetation.

For more information on wildfire prevention and restrictions, visit Keep Oregon Green at www.keeporegongreen.org and the Oregon Department of Forestry at www.oregon.gov.

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